Team Dental Group


Thumb sucking treatment

Thumb sucking is a habit that is common among infants and toddlers. It is a way for children to seek comfort and security. Unfortunately, thumb sucking can lead to malocclusion of the teeth. It can cause crowded or crooked teeth. 

Thumb sucking is usually a problem when the habit continues past the age of five. The habit can last until the child is developmentally beyond the age of ten. The habit usually lasts until the child outgrows it.

What Causes Thumb Sucking?

There are many reasons why children may suck their thumbs. Some do it because their parents modeled the behavior for them at a young age, and it became a regular occurrence. Others may develop the habit out of stress, anxiety, or boredom. Sometimes, children are just curious. Regardless of the reason, it’s generally a good idea to stop a child from sucking their thumb if possible.


There are a few ways to stop children from sucking their thumbs. One option is to encourage them to stop. While this may work for some children and eliminate the need for intervention, others may have a harder time breaking the habit. 

A better way may be to encourage positive behaviors and provide incentives to get kids to stop. For example, you could replace your child’s favorite toy with a non-suckable one. Or, if your child is a thumb sucker due to stress, you may want to look for things to help them relax or get involved in activities that they find fun and enjoyable.

It can be helpful to have a conversation with your child about why you feel concerned about their behavior. It’s always important to be supportive and encouraging. If you approach the issue lovingly and not punitively, you’re more likely to have success with your child. 

Avoid setting too many rules and expectations for your child. Instead, allow them to earn privileges by meeting milestones and creating goals for themselves. This can help give them a sense of control and empower them to make good decisions. For more information about how to help your child stop sucking his or her thumb, speak to our dentist at your next visit.

How Do I Stop Thumb Sucking?

In younger children, we recommend using a thumb guard so that the child can’t put his or her fingers in their mouth. This often helps children to stop thumb-sucking or finger-sucking habits. Thumb guards are inexpensive and can be found at most local pharmacies. These can also be obtained through our dentist.

A palatal crib can also be used to discourage the habit of thumb-sucking. This appliance is custom fit and placed in your child’s mouth by the dentist.

For more information, contact our Alexandria dental office at (703) 823-2848 or 5130 Duke St, Suite 8, Alexandria, VA 22304, or our Manassas dental office at (703) 479-7654 or 8608 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110.


5130 Duke St, Suite 8, Alexandria, VA 22304

Phone: (703) 823-2848

  • MON - WED9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • THU9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • FRI9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SAT7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SUNClosed
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8608 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110

Phone: (703) 479-7654

  • MON9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • TUE10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • WED - FRI9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SAT7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SUNClosed
Contact Us